Don't Hurt My Little Sister
|"Don't Hurt My Little Sister"|
|Song by The Beach Boys|
|from the album The Beach Boys Today!|
|Released||March 8, 1965|
|Recorded||June 22, 1964|
|Lyricist(s)||Brian Wilson, Mike Love|
"Don't Hurt My Little Sister" is a song composed and written by Brian Wilson with additional lyrics by Mike Love for the American rock band the Beach Boys. It was released on their 1965 album The Beach Boys Today!. Its lyrics are based on Wilson's complicated feelings for his wife Marilyn and her younger sisters.
Wilson originally submitted the song to record producer Phil Spector for recording with the Ronettes. Spector accepted on the condition that the song be rewritten with different lyrics as "Things Are Changing (For the Better)". This version would later be recorded by The Supremes, Jay and the Americans, and The Blossoms.
"Don't Hurt My Little Sister" was written about Brian Wilson's relation with the three Rovell sisters, Diane, Marilyn, and Barbara. He had become close with them, and eventually married Marilyn, but also held feelings for her sisters. Brian Wilson later stated that he thought that the Rovell sisters' parents "assumed I liked Diane best, since she and I still spent the most time together talking. Deep down I still harbored feelings for cute little Barbara, though I continually reminded myself she was too young." Brian Wilson's songwriting co-writer Gary Usher said, "When Brian moved out of his apartment and began living at the Rovells' house, he fell madly in love with Barbara, Marilyn and Diane's younger sister. I was over there many times, and I could see this scene happening and Brian becoming so frustrated because there was nothing he could do about it."
- The Beach Boys
- Al Jardine - electric bass guitar, backing vocals
- Mike Love - lead & backing vocals
- Brian Wilson - upright piano, lead & backing vocals
- Carl Wilson - guitar, backing vocals
- Dennis Wilson - tambourine, backing vocals
- Additional musicians and production staff
- Hal Blaine - drums
- Chuck Britz – engineer
- John Gray - grand piano
- Ray Pohlman - electric baritone guitar
- Tommy Tedesco - guitar
The Blossoms version
The song was originally given to record producer Phil Spector by Wilson, who wanted the song to be recorded by the Ronettes. Spector declined "Don't Worry Baby", but accepted "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" on the condition that he rewrite the song as "Things Are Changing (for the Better)". Wilson was invited to perform piano on the song's recording, but was thrown out of the session by Spector due to "substandard playing". Spector finished a backing track, but scrapped the song. This backing track was eventually revived and given to the Blossoms, with new lyrics and a new title, "Things Are Changing (For the Better)". This new version, featuring Darlene Love on vocals, was a public service announcement for "equal-opportunity employment."
- 1965 – The Surfaris
- 1965 – The Blossoms (as "Things Are Changing (For the Better)")
- 1965 – The Supremes (as "Things Are Changing")
- 1965 – Jay and the Americans (as "Things Are Changing")
- 1996 – Shonen Knife, The Birds & the B-Sides
- Craig Slowinski (2007). "The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!" (PDF). Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- "'Don't Hurt My Little Sister'". popmatters.com. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
- Lambert, Philip. Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: The Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius.
- Hickey, Andrew. The Beach Boys On CD vol 1: The 1960s.
- Craig, Slowinski (2014). Keep an Eye On Summer 1964 (Digital Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records. Mirror
- Carlin 2006, p. 45.